When the lights hit the stage, and the models start walking down the runway you can bet on a couple things. You can bet that they'll be wearing the latest and greatest in fashion. You can even bet that some of them may actually look like the rest of us. But one thing you may not want to bet on is that all of the models are at least 16 and not too thin. Well, at least not until now.

The industry is beginning to take steps in the right direction in terms of health and beauty. While the need to regulate age isn't something new for the industry, it is something many fashion designers are finally cracking down on. In the past we've seen young girls, most of which were way too thin walk down the runway. This  prompted the Council of Fashion Designers In America to try and make some changes. Some of these would be similar to checking licenses at a bar. By checking the IDs of some of the models, they can hopefully ensure that nobody under the 'required' age will be strutting down the runway. [via New York Times]

They also have instilled some guidelines for all those involved in the process to follow.Whether it's agents or designers, they're hoping to inform them about the warning signs of eating disorders. They even suggested offering healthy snacks for all the behind the scenes time they have, in an effort to help make the industry a little more healthy. They know that these are just baby steps, and that nothing has drastically changed, but hey! progress is progress right?

In places like Madrid and Milan they've tried to enforce actual bans so models who are too thin or too young can't model, but research has shown that they haven't been followed because neither is making a drastic impact on the industry as a whole. Personally, change is change no matter how small, but here in America we took a different approach. They've tried to protect the models rather than 'police' them, and according to the industry it seems to be getting some pretty good feedback. Furthering that, Tommy Hilfiger even threw out an idea that one day models should be licensed and registered. This way there would be some sort of documentation, and way to make sure the models were of age and not looking too emaciated.

So let's hear it? Is this a step in the right direction? Should age matter? Should models have to register? Or is it all in the name of fashion?